The City of Cape Town is investigating an alleged case of abuse on one of its MyCiTi buses. Khayelitsha resident Zoliswa Lonja’s 12-year-old son was allegedly abused by an elderly woman on a MyCiTi bus travelling from the Civic Centre to Khayelisha on Thursday May 31.
It is alleged the woman decided to sit on top of the boy after she could not get a seat on the bus.
In a video recorded by one of the boy’s peers, a woman who is probably in her late 50s and more than three times the boy’s weight, can be be clearly seen sitting on top of the boy and refusing to move despite numerous pleas from him.
“Andisuki, andisuki, andisuki,” the woman is heard shouting in the 15-second video clip.
She also closes her ears as the boy cries out and tries in vain to remove her. Although the video is short, it is alleged that the woman sat on the boy from town to Khayelitsha, which is a distance of more than 30 kilometres.
A livid Ms Lonja told Vukani that her son is now traumatised and the incident has left him unable to focus on his exams.
“Imagine it’s your child, and some woman comes and throws herself on top of him),” she said.
Ms Lonja said her son never told her about the incident and only shared the information after another child told her about it.
“Surely he does not concentrate in class after this trauma,” she said. “This happened on a MyCiTi bus. I was told by another kid who was brave enough to film the incident,” she said.
With the help of Facebook friends, Ms Lonja said she managed to get hold of the woman. And although she had shown some form of remorse, Ms Lonja said she still wanted to see justice for her son. She also called for the respect of children using public transport.
“This bullying on our buses must come to an end,” she said. “This is barbaric and is uncalled for. I lobby for the support and defence of our kids who wake up before 4 am and are expected to stand in the buses until their destination.”
Ms Lonja also urged MyCiTi to constantly monitor their buses for overloading. .
“I am indeed appealing to all of us to treat one another with huge respect and dignity in the public transport system. There should be no entitlements.
“I did not take the legal route as this might cause more damage to my son and his twin,” she said.
Ms Lonja thanked family and friends for their support, saying the matter had been referred to the City of Cape Town.
Mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett Herron confirmed that the City was looking at a case of abuse in one of their buses.
“I received a complaint about an incident on a MyCiTi bus via a member of the provincial legislature. We are dealing with it,” he said.